Pompeo: Iran spreading conspiracy theories about coronavirus

Secretary of State lashes out at Iran after Supreme Leader hints that COVID-19 was man-made by America.

Elad Benari ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo
Reuters

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday lashed out at Iran and accused it of spreading dangerous rumors about COVID-19, including a conspiracy theory manufactured in China that the novel coronavirus was man-made by the United States.

"The U.S. has offered $100M+ in medical aid to other nations - including Iran - and our scientists are working 24/7 to develop a vaccine," Pompeo tweeted. "@khamenei_ir has rejected American offers and spends 24/7 concocting conspiracy theories. How does that help the Iranian people."

Pompeo also tweeted, "@khamenei_ir's fabrications that the U.S. is responsible for the #WuhanVirus put Iranians, Americans, and the rest of the world at risk. Facts matter.”

He then went down a laundry list of accusations against Iran including allegations that in February, Iran's Mehan Air, continued to fly at least 55 times between Tehran and China.

"At least five countries' first cases of #COVID19 were a direct result of the Iranian regime's disregard for everyone's health," wrote Pompeo.

The comments come a day after Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, refused help from the United States to fight the coronavirus and claimed that it could be man-made by America.

"I do not know how real this accusation is but when it exists, who in their right mind would trust you to bring them medication?" Khamenei said. "Possibly your medicine is a way to spread the virus more."

He also alleged without offering any evidence that the virus "is specifically built for Iran using the genetic data of Iranians which they have obtained through different means."

Hossein Salami, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, also claimed earlier this month that the coronavirus outbreak “may be the product of the American biological invasion.”

While Iran faces US sanctions which block the country from selling its crude oil and accessing international financial markets, Washington has offered Iran help in fighting the coronavirus, which has hit it hard.

As of last Thursday, there were 1,284 deaths from coronavirus in Iran, which is the hardest hit country in the Middle East due to the virus.

The virus has killed at least 12 Iranian politicians and officials, both sitting and former, and infected 13 more who have either been quarantined or are being treated.

A top adviser to Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, was one of those reported to have been infected with the virus.



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